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Creative writing

  • Jan. 22nd, 2008 at 10:57 PM
Yes, I'm taking creative writing in college. Yes, I realise I'm a nursing major. Yes, I am in fact trying to improve my GPA for graduate school, how did you know?

So like Jenny can't help here because she already knows the character backgrounds here so that'd be cheating, but I'd like to see if anyone understands these characters that I've grown so acquainted with. Names of characters have been changed except for the oh-so-wonderful Miss Lyna Melinyshyn, voted as the 2006 'Character You Love to Hate' in Red Eye fanfiction.

It's not finished, luckily due next week, but here's what I have so far (and I'll probably even be adding to this):

From looking at her apartment, you’d have no idea that Lyna was a consummate professional. The foyer could fool you, even the bathroom where the copious makeup she wore was held in perfect lines along the marble countertop, but a few steps farther down the hall and to the left, the kitchen deleted every illusion. She never had people over, but if she did, they surely would expect a cockroach or two to crawl out of the sink – she was always one step away from that. Too lazy to be bothered with cleaning a mug, she owned at least twenty coffee mugs, all with different designs and various sizes (and, for that matter, various amounts of freezing cold coffee), littered around the kitchen and into the main living area, each one emblazoned with a half-moon lipstick mark in the crimson lipstick she was always seen wearing.

There was nothing notable about her bedroom-slash-living room. People from out of town would likely balk at the idea of having a combination room with a distinct lack of a Murphy bed, but a New Yorker, taking special consideration to the fact that she was living in Trump Parc on Central Park South just a block or so from Columbus Circle, would be quite pleased by the space. The view wasn’t much, a brick building where your neighbours could always spy on you through open windows, but it was quiet and moderately large for Midtown. Besides, it only cost about one-point-two million dollars, paid cash.

Lyna’s filing system was simple: there was no filing system. Other than some seemingly uniform piles on the floor, her desk and the window seat, there was no rhyme or reason. Notes were taped all over the mirrored wall on the left side of the room, each one written in curly Ukrainian script – she took great pride in her handwriting, always had. Her reasoning for a lack of filing was that all of her important documents were password protected in each of the three computers on her desk, as she is and has always been a very secretive person, and for good reason, as if you opened the television cabinet and pulled out the bottom shelf, there hidden was a lockbox with four passports from four countries with four names, but all with only a picture of one woman, the mysterious Lyna. If one looked carefully at the names and felt the need to Google any one of them, he’d find that two out of the four were wanted on murder charges, one in Eastern Europe and one in South Africa.

It was actually rather good that Lyna never had anyone over. It was always a bit hard to explain how a part-time Czech language teacher lived in a building like hers anyway.

Work was at Madison and East 83rd, a block away from the Met, so on nice days she walked home on the weaving path through the centre of Central Park. It was winter, however, always an insanely popular season in the City, so rather than walking or even taking a taxi, she afforded herself the hilarity of the MTA. It was three blocks up and two blocks over to the closest station, a short ride on the 5 to 59th and Lexington, and a shorter ride still to 57th Street Station on the F. From the station, it wasn’t even two minutes before she was home, a welcome relief on particularly blustery days. Every other day, she’d follow the same routine, always walking without looking to her mailbox without a word to the receptionist, turning her back to him as she waited at the lift then continuing on quietly. She was never one for extraneous conversation.

Today, however, was slightly different, as the receptionist had the audacity to speak to her.

‘Miss Melinyshyn,’ he said in a half-voice, but in the marble foyer he could well have been yelling. ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I let your guest go on up.’

Her eyes glanced up from the envelopes in her hand and she looked at the golden elevator doors in front of her before turning to glance over her shoulder. The man behind the counter stood.

‘I was not expecting a guest.’

‘He said he was your brother,’ the man replied with something akin to a shrug.

She dropped the letters in her hand and immediately bent down to the floor to pick them up, tapping them against the marble to straighten them completely out before standing once more. ‘About my height, same hair colour, same colour eyes, same skin tone…?’

‘Uh… yes?’ the man hazarded.

Lyna furrowed her brow and turned back to the lift, her knuckles white from her new grip upon the pile of envelopes. The lift dinged and the doors slid open; she stepped in and dropped her hands to her sides once they closed again. Twenty-three clicks sounded as she went up – whether she consciously knew it or not, she always counted the clicks – and as soon as the doors opened again, she was walking with immense purpose toward her apartment door which was oh-so-conveniently ajar. She pushed it open, her head tilted to the side as she tried to peek far enough into the apartment to see her visitor. Closing the door after her, she walked forward a bit and threw the mail on the kitchen counter before putting her hands on her hips and going into the living room.

‘You should not be here, John.’

The man in the room didn’t respond immediately, instead looking from note to note on the mirror wall.

‘Not a single note in Czech,’ he said nearly to himself. ‘You’re trying to keep secrets from me.’

‘You lied to the doorman,’ she stated, allowing an ensuing silence for only a moment. ‘I do not see how he thought you were my brother in the first place.’

‘We look frighteningly alike,’ he murmured. ‘Haven’t you noticed?’

She watched their reflections in the mirror. Like her, he was considered a consummate professional, an orchestrator of many historical ‘purifications’, as they were, but as of relatively recently a moderately high member of Credit Suisse with a background scrubbed clean by certain bureaucrats and politicians guarding their own transgressions. At that moment in time, however, if he’d walked up to someone and said ‘I’m a rather well-known project manager for asset management at Credit Suisse and spend my time equally between New York City and Zürich’, the immediate reaction would be ‘oh dear, this vagabond really is utterly insane, I shall give him some money for a sandwich’.

He was fidgeting oddly as his eyes darted about the notes, and she joined in on the fidgeting when she saw an arc of white plastic flash out from under the cuff of his coat and remembered exactly why his presence was quite unwelcome.

‘They are going to find you are missing,’ she said softly and rather carefully, holding her head back to the side.

‘Bellevue misplaces people all the time,’ he replied, finally turning around and licking his teeth a bit. ‘I needed to talk to you.’

‘You could have called me.’

He scoffed. ‘Like you would have come.’

She couldn’t help but be taken aback, a fact that she displayed physically by taking a long step away from him. In all fact, she’d been there two days before with his wife – a token of goodwill toward the competition – and they’d had a lengthy conversation whilst Beth spoke with his doctors. Pressing the backs of her knuckles to her lips, she crossed an arm over her chest and looked down at the ground, glancing up only when his socked feet came into her field of vision. He reached up, running his fingers through her hair quietly as she studied him. His label of suicide risk was obviously taken one step too far, his stubble telling the story that he wasn’t allowed even a safety razor. He had a vague smile on his face as he studied the ends of her hair.

‘People on the subway just assumed I was a hobo,’ he said with a light tone, but she didn’t smile.

‘You did not have a MetroCard,’ she said into her hand as she looked beyond him.

He gave an uncomfortable smile to her, leaning into her field of vision as he spoke in a whisper, his tone unbalanced. ‘I jumped the turnstile.’

She nodded slowly, closing her eyes.

‘Are you crying?’ he asked after a moment, grabbing the ends of her hair tightly with one hand as he took her chin with the other. As he looked at her face, he laughed mirthfully. ‘The all powerful Vasylyna Melinyshyn reduced to—‘

Snarling, she suddenly reached up and moved quickly to press him against the mirror wall. She held her mouth agape, seemingly on the verge of saying something before just hitting him upside the head and turning sideways to grab the phone off of her desk.

‘No, no, no need to do that,’ he said in a rush, reaching out and taking her wrist softly. ‘No need. I’m sorry.’

She held the phone to her ear, listening to the dial tone as they stared at each other. She relaxed a bit but didn’t move the phone.

‘What did you want to talk about?’ she said to him, not breaking eye contact.

‘Saeng Chaiyasan.’

‘There is nothing to talk about,’ she replied with sarcastically raised eyebrows as her finger made a dive for the nine, but he held it back.

‘Who killed her?’

She let out a single laugh before speaking quietly. ‘You came here for me to stroke your ego?’

‘I killed her,’ he said somewhere between a statement of fact and a question.

‘This is really something you should be discussing with your doctor.’

‘You killed her.’

Feedback quite appreciated before I have to subject myself to workshop plz!!

Comments

duskydawn wrote:
Jan. 23rd, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
ARGH!
I wrote you a very detailed feedback, including where to change order, punctuation, what I liked, what threw me & my overall impressions but I was told by LJ it was about 1500 characters too long, but when I went to change it, I was booted off my server.

*growl*

If you wanna know, email me or maybe I'll get up the guts to try again later.

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